@ Weeksville Heritage Center
Carl Johnson, Evelyn Johnson
DescriptionEvelyn and Carl Johnson were born in 1931. Carl was born at 641 Herkimer Street between Utica and Schenectady, where Boys and Girls High School is currently located. He was born at home, on Herkimer Street, on his parents’ kitchen table. His mother and father chose a midwife over using a doctor. Carl’s family was originally from South Carolina; his grandfather was a minister, who eventually joined a church in the Weeksville area when he moved to New York. His father was from Charleston, SC and his mother was from Summerville, SC: they moved to New York City in 1923, when his mother was 20 and his father 27, after marrying in the South. Carl was the youngest of their four sons: he recalls that his oldest sibling was ten years older than him, and served in WWII in Okwinawa and New Guinea. He initially tried to join the air force, but African-Americans were not allowed in that area of service when he first joined. Carl’s brother worked on the same base that sent out the bomber that carried the atomic bomb: he remembers that his brother was ‘haunted’ by this for the rest of his life. Carl recalls that his father also suffered from war trauma: he was born in 1896, and served in WWI. Carl himself joined the ROTC in college, but was deferred from joining the Korean War. Carl trained as a teacher at Seton Hall University: he entered the public school system as a math teacher...
Oral History Wav
Carl Johnson, Evelyn Johnson, Rose Heredia, Meron Tebeje